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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 9-20-16

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Not much was heard about summer flounder, but kingfish and croakers were cranked from the bay last week, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. She’d been away since Thursday, hearing little about fishing since. But she heard from Tyler at the shop that bluefish, somewhat bigger than snappers that were around before, were more abundant in different waters along the coast than previously. Sharon reported a striped bass caught from the ocean surf in last week’s report. The blues and the striper potentially seemed signs that fishing was changing for the season. Columbus Day weekend, this year on October 8 to 10, was in years past the traditional time when a few boaters began to fish for striped bass, catching a few, on the bay. The bay’s last substantial run of stripers in fall happened after Hurricane Sandy in 2011. The run was milder, and later, afterward. But one never knows how fall striper fishing will pan out, and maybe they’ll show up earlier and abundant. Sharon was in Providence, Rhode Island, while away, and nighttime weather was cool. Maybe the chillier northern weather would trigger stripers to begin the season’s migration south toward local waters. Crabbing should last a while, especially because weather’s been warm. This is a good time of year for crabbing. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.

<b>Money Island</b>

One trip that launched from the boat ramp bagged two weakfish and a couple of blues, said Bruce from <b>Money Island Marina</b>. Not a lot of anglers were around, typical for the moment, soon after schools start back up. The bay’s anglers mostly waited for the fall run of striped bass. Fresh bunker, the favorite bait for the stripers, will be stocked when in demand. Currently, the shop’s crew bagged bunker to freeze for bait like for crabbing. Minnows will be carried through the final day of summer flounder season Sunday. One of the marina’s barbecues was held last weekend and was a success. Attendees enjoyed plenty of food, and Bruce was unsure whether another will be held this year. The marina hosted a number of the cookouts this year. The marina features a bait and tackle shop, a boat ramp, boat slips, dry-dock boat storage, fishing docks and gas. The fishing docks, $5 per adult and free for kids, can offer angling for white perch, small striped bass, and croakers, at different times of year. A 12-foot aluminum boat with a 2.5 h.p. outboard is available to rent to fish the creek.


The moon was full Friday, but some trips trapped three-quarters of a bushel of keeper crabs or three to four dozen keepers this weekend, said Linda from <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b>. So that wasn’t bad, and full moons that can trigger crabs to shed and mate can slow crabbing, because crabs won’t eat during shedding and mating. But not all crabs shed or mate on every moon. Crabs certainly shed and mated this weekend. Catches on Saturday ranged from five to 36 keepers per trip. Customers who fished sometimes reeled in good-sized white perch. One landed a small sea bass, apparently because the saltwater line was far up the creek, because of a drought. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. Crabbing is available Fridays through Sundays through Columbus Day weekend. Crabbing will be available on Columbus Day itself, too, and crabbing will go on break through winter afterward at the store. Though crabbing is only available certain days, the shop is open daily for supplies. Beaver Dam stocks everything needed for crabbing, from bait, traps and nets to food, snacks and suntan lotion. Rental kayaks and canoes are available on the days crabbing is. Hunters also stop by this coming season, including for turkey check-ins at the store and duck hunting on the creek. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.

<b>Cape May</b>

Good populations of croakers and kingfish schooled the northern tip of 60-Foot Slough last week, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Snapper blues schooled the surf at Cape May Point at the confluence of the bay and the ocean. Blues also tumbled the ocean surf, and kingfish were sometimes mixed in there. Mullet schooled the back bay last week, and Nick then expected them to migrate to the surf any moment. Surf anglers each year look forward to the mullet migration in late summer and early fall, because that can ramp up catches, attracting fish like blues and striped bass that forage on the baitfish. The mullet run is one of fall’s first major migrations of fish along the coast. Summer flounder migrating from bays to offshore is another. A couple of boaters sailed for flounder at the Old Grounds on the ocean, catching pretty well. Cape May Reef on the ocean gave up a slow pick of flounder, and deeper water like at the Old Grounds seemed to hold them better. Not many flounder were heard about from the back bay. Nick mentioned no flounder from Delaware Bay. Crabbing was good.

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